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Org. I would possess my wife; the equity
Of very reason bids me.
Pen. Is that all ?
Org. Why, 't is the all of me, myself.
Your steps some distance from me; at this space
A few words I dare change; but first put on
Your borrow'd shape.'
Org. You are obey'd; 't is done.
[He resumes his disguise.
Pen. How, Orgilus, by promise, I was thine,
The heavens do witness; they can witness, too,
A rape done on my truth: low I do love thee
Yet, Orgilus, and yet, must best appear
In tendering thy freedom; for I find
The constant preservation of thy merit,
By thy not daring to attempt my fame
With injury of any loose conceit,
Which might give deeper wounds to discontents.
Continue this fair race; then, though I cannot
Add to thy comfort, yet I shall more often
Remember from what fortune I am fallen,
And pity mine own ruin.-Live, live happy,
Happy in thy next choice, that thou mayst
This barren age with virtues in thy issue!
And, oh, when thou art married, think on me
With mercy, not contempt; I hope thy wife,
Hearing my story, will not scorn my fall.-
Now let us part.
Org. Part! yet advise thee better:
Penthea is the wife to Orgilus,
And ever shall be.
Pen. Never shall, nor will.
-but first put on Your borrow'd shape.] This, as I have elsewhere observed, is the green-room term for å dress of disguise. In the opening of the next act, Orgilus, who had resumed his usual habit, is said to appear in his own shape.-GIFFORD.
Pen. Hear me; in a word I'll tell thee why.
The virgin-dowry which my birth bestow'd,
Is ravish'd by another; my true love
Abhors to think, that Orgilus deserv'd
No better favours than a second bed.
Org. I must not take this reason.
Pen. To confirm it;
Should I outlive my bondage, let me meet
Another worse than this, and less desired,
If, of all men alive, thou shouldst but touch
My lip or hand again!
Org. Penthea, now
I tell you, you grow wanton in my sufferance;
Come, sweet, thou art mine.
Pen. Uncivil sir, forbear,
Or I can turn affection into vengeance;
Your reputation, if you value any,
Lies bleeding at my feet. Unworthy man,
If ever henceforth thou appear in language,
Message, or letter, to betray my frailty,
I'll call thy former protestations lust,
And curse my stars for forfeit of my judgment.
Go thou, fit only for disguise, and walks,
To hide thy shame; this once I spare thy life.
I laugh at mine own confidence; my sorrows
By thee are made inferior to my fortunes :
If ever thou didst harbour worthy love,
Dare not to answer. My good genius guide me,
That I may never see thee more !-Go from me!
Org. I'll tear my veil of politic French off, And stand up like a man resolv'd to do:Action, not words, shall show me.-Oh Penthea!
(Exit. Pen. He sigh'd my name, sure, as he parted from
I fear I was too rough. Alas, poor gentleman!
He look'd not like the ruins of his youth,
But like the ruins of those ruins. Honour,
How much we fight with weakness to preserve thee!
[Walks aside. Enter BASSANES and GRAUSIS. Bass. Fie on thee, rotten maggot! Sleep! sleep at court! and now ! Aches, convul.
sions, Imposthumes, rheums, gouts, palsies, clog thy bones A dozen years more yet!
Grau. Now you are in humours.
Bass. She’s by herself, there's hope of that; she's
She's in strong contemplation; yes, and fix'd:
The signs are wholesome.
Grau. Very wholesome, truly.
Bass. Hold your chops, nightmare!-Lady, come; Is carried to his closet; you must thither.
Pen. Not well, my lord ?
Bass. A sudden fit, 't will off;
Some surfeit or disorder.—How dost, dearest?
Pen. Your news is none o'th' best.
Pro. The chief of men,
The excellentest Ithocles, desires
Your presence, madam.
Bass. We are hasting to him.
Pen. In vain we labour in this course of life To piece our journey out at length, or crave Respite of breath; our home is in the grave.
Bass. Perfect philosophy!
Pen. Then let us care
To live so, that our reckonings may fall even,
When we're to make account.
Pro. He cannot fear
Who builds on noble grounds ; sickness or pain
Is the deserver's exercise; and such
Your virtuous brother to the world is known.
Speak comfort to him, lady, be all gentle;
Stars fall but in the grossness of our sight,
A good man dying, th' earth doth lose a light.
The Study of TECNICUS. Enter TECNICUS, and Orgilus in his usual dress.
Tec. Be well advised; let not a resolution Of giddy rashness choke the breath of reason.
Org. It shall not, most sage master.
Tec. I am jealous ;'
For if the borrow'd shape so late put on
Inferr'd a consequence, we must conclude
Some violent design of sudden nature
Hath shook that shadow off, to fly upon
A new-hatch'd execution. Orgilus,
Take heed thou hast not, under our integrity,
Shrouded unlawful plots : our mortal eyes
Pierce not the secrets of your heart; the gods
Are only privy to them.
Org. Learned Tecnicus,
Such doubts are causeless; and, to clear the truth
From misconceit,--the present state commands me.
The prince of Argos comes himself in person
In quest of great Calantha for his bride,
Our kingdom's heir; besides, mine only sister,
Euphranea, is disposed to Prophilus :
Lastly, the king is sending letters for me
To Athens, for my quick repair to court;
Please to accept these reasons.
Tec. Just ones, Orgilus,
Not to be contradicted: yet, beware
Of an unsure foundation; no fair colours
1 I am jealous,] i.e. I am fearful, suspicious of it.-GIFFORD
Can fortify a building faintly jointed.
I have observd a growth in thy aspect
Of dangerous extent, sudden, and--look to 't-
I might add, certain
Org. My aspect! could art
Run through mine inmost thoughts, it should not
sift An inclination there, more than what suited With justice of mine honour.
Tec. I believe it. But know then, Orgilus, what honour is: Honour consists not in a bare opinion By doing any act that feeds content, Brave in appearance, 'cause we think it brave; Such honour comes by accident, not nature, Proceeding from the vices of our passion, Which makes our reason drunk: but real honour Is the reward of virtue, and acquired By justice, or by valour, which, for bases, Hath justice to uphold it. He then fails In honour, who, for lucre or revenge, Commits thefts, murther, treasons, and adulteries, With such like, by intrenching on just laws, Whose sovereignty is best preserv’d by Justice. Thus, as you see how honour must be grounded On knowledge, not opinion (for opinion Relies on probability and accident, But knowledge on necessity and truth), I leave thee to the fit consideration Of what becomes the grace of real honour, Wishing success to all thy virtuous meanings. Org. The gods increase thy wisdom, reverend
oracle, And in thy precepts make me ever thrifty! [Exit.
Tec. I thank thy wish.—Much mystery of fate
Lies hid in that man's fortunes; curiosity
May lead his actions into rare attempts :-
But let the gods be moderators still ;
No human power can prevent their will.